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Do conversations matter in Avadon: The Black Fortress


WolfSpider
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I have been meaning to ask this question for some time, but then I did not want to ask and ruin it for myself, but now that I have actually somewhat tested it in my limited capacity, I might as well ask full on.  Do conversations matter in Avadon or any of the Spiderweb games?  I know I will try for different responses as many as I can find to try just because I like the story and am curious of "what if...".  Like with Red Beard I would answer and then reload or simply answer a different way with why I became a Hand to serve the Pact or for fighting or power, etc., as some will just keep going in a loop. 

 

Tanner which is a merchant in your first quest (At least for me, not sure if they are randomly given to you and the difficulty depends on your level.) outside of the castle is to see the dragon to help kill wretches and has two response you can give him when asking if you can trade.  He says he gives a fair price and you can respond with that is all you can hope/ask for or to demand him to lower it.  The nice response has him feel at ease with you, while the other response has him tremble.  Yet I compare prices by reloading, as this conversation is not a loop and the prices are the exact same regardless how I answered him, friendly or threatening.  The same thing happened when I spoke one of the "wives" of Red Beard in her own quarters.  When asked how it went (with him) you can say you survived the encounter or that you were not afraid of him.  She responds with that is how most people feel or that he seems friendly and passive at first, but than you will die or find yourself in the dungeon something to that effect.  I reload it with the best answer I would normally give and just keep playing, as I do not know if there are any real effects later on...  "One of my wives told me you did not fear me, NOW DIE!!!"

 

Long story short do conversations have any real relevance to the game at all?  I do not want actual spoilers mind you, like say "mid way there is" or "in this town", or "this quest", yatta yatta yatta.  But does your conversation actually have any real consequences to the game in the slightest?  You can gain an ally one moment or someone will out right attack you instead, at another?  The one lady prisoner in the basement of the castle no matter how you answered she would fight you.  Made it seem almost pointless in a sense or a waste of an opportunity.  I understand why in that moment she did what she did, as in it was fate or the end result would be the same, she could not live or make it out alive even if "you" spared her.  And then there was the part with her last dying breath you could trigger a response and waste it on something you already knew or she would give you a new small piece of information, although how important that actually was I have no idea.

 

Sorry this was a bit long, but I had a lot to say.  Thanks.

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Which endings you can get are determined by how you behave in front of Redbeard. Your companions may or may not be willing to stick with you until the end depending on what you say to them and do for them. Beyond that, there aren't any major plot effects resulting from conversations. Most of the mutually exclusive conversation options exist to allow for a degree of role-playing on the part of the player.

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I talked to Berak (SP?) in the same place as Tanner and he actually does lower his prices a wee bit.  Not sure if I should be like "Yea, good!" or wonder if Red Beard is gonna roast my flanks later for threatening someone on good terms with the pact, as even the woman (Eye or Heart) who greets you as you portal through that you can not get things for free even as a Hand...  We shall see...

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Most conversation choices do not have any effect on the game.  Game-spanning effects pretty much only come from major NPCs (Redbeard, Miranda) or companion PCs.  Usually (but not always) it's pretty obvious when those come up, because you are presented with diametrically opposed responses about blatantly ideological topics.

 

Sometimes there are minor divergences when e.g. talking to a minor NPC about their minor sidequest.  These differences are minor and 90% of the time when you see a choice like this, it's for flavor only.

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It doesn't appear that we ever created a comprehensive list for Avadon 1, but back when I was much more familiar with this, I wrote:

 

Quote

Almost nothing matters in Avadon 1 until the very end of the endgame. The way you handle Gryfyn and the words you say to Redbeard right at the very end are the main things affecting the ending, in addition to whether you kill the monsters that get you medals (Beloch, Zephyrine).

 

In addition, the way you handle your companion PCs affects the endgame.

 

We created comprehensive lists for Avadon 2 and Avadon 3.

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Thanks everyone.  I briefly skimmed over the last post due to possible spoilers, but I get the gist of it.  So which series in the Spiderweb collection use conversations or actions as actually meaning something worth while?  Someone said Avadon (Although the majority says only very few parts, at least in Avadon 1.) and Geneforge.   Any others?

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It depends what you mean by "something worth while."

 

No Spiderweb games have tremendously branching plot arcs depending on player actions or conversation at any point prior to the very final missions and the epilogues.

 

Geneforge 1-5 & Avernum 5: You can align with different factions at some point, resulting in slightly to moderately different experiences in certain areas of the game, and fairly different ending sequences.  There is also an ideological "reputation" system where the answers you give random people about moral dilemmas all nudge an invisible, global "reputation" counter, which affects which factions will let you join them, and sometimes affects shops, quests, and general hostility in a few places -- though not the bulk of them.

 

Avadon 1-3: You can align with a faction, generally late in the game, resulting in a few changes during the game and a fairly different ending sequence.  There is a much smaller-scale reputation system with generally less concrete impact outside of faction choice.  Additionally, how you handle things with each PC companion's sidequest affects whether they will stick around with you.

 

Avernum 6: You can align with different factions at some point, resulting in slightly to moderately different experiences in certain areas of the game, and fairly different ending sequences.

 

Nethergate: You pick a faction before the game begins.  This has a significant impact on the story and your experience in a number of areas, though you visit all the same areas either way.  Player choice during the game does not affect this, however.

 

Avernum 1-4: Conversation and player actions don't affect these sorts of things.

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